Tokyo Olympics gold medallist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will return to action today for the first time after a span of 10 months since his historic gold medal last year. In an exclusive chat with NDTV, Neeraj Chopra speaks about his target and the process to achieve the same.

Question: Neeraj, you are finally set to begin a new chapter in your career. When I visited your place in Khandra (Sonepat) last year, you told us that you wanted to train in Gloria Sports Arena in Turkey. Now you are training in Finland, where your 1st tournament of the season is set to take place. What difference do you see in your training at both places?

Neeraj Chopra: Turkey is also good. The diet and training facilities are really good in Turkey. But I chose to come to Finland as I have to play two competitions here and then there is a tournament in Europe. So, it will help me commute from here to different places of competition. It saves the travelling time.

Question: You told us before that planning is a key aspect of your training schedule. Now you are focusing on which aspects of your game, and are you delighted to know that many athletes in India have started to throw more than 80m?

Neeraj Chopra: Absolutely, many athletes in India have started throwing in the 80-plus metres range. Rohit, Yashvir, Manu DP, Sahil, and many other juniors are doing pretty well. At the international level also, many athletes are showing fabulous performances (Anderson Peters of Grenada and Czech player Jakub Vadlejch have thrown in the range of 90m+ this year). German throwers are also doing well. As a result, competition in javelin has reached new heights around the world.

Question: What are you planning for yourself this season?

Neeraj Chopra: My team has planned for the World Championships and Commonwealth Games. I am going to take part in more than half a dozen tournaments. But I want to do well, especially in these two prime events. I want to be fit in all of these tournaments. This is the most important thing to me.

Question: You’ve begun a new collaboration with YouTube Shorts and have started a new kind of #Javrun challenge. The great Khali, Team India’s batter Shreyas Iyer, and many others, including Bollywood actress Shehnaz, appear to be enjoying the challenge.

Neeraj Chopra: Yes, I am excited to see all of them. There is a javelin touch to their run. They are having fun and are promoting this game. Shreyas Iyer is running with his bat and others are doing it in their own unique way. I am hoping that this will reach the masses and, hence, the game will benefit.

Question: So, in the eight important tournaments coming up, what is your target?

Neeraj Chopra: I want to be consistent in these tournaments. I want to do my best and achieve the best possible results this year. I don’t know when and where it will happen. But I want to maintain my fitness and achieve the maximum. I am close to 90 metres, so, if that is achieved, I would really feel great about it. 90 metres is certainly a barrier which I would like to cross and feel happy. I also want to be in the elite club of 90m+ javelin throwers. I have trained hard and hoping for the best.

When to watch Neeraj Chopra’s event: 9:30PM IST, Tuesday, 14 June, 2022

Promoted

Where: Paavo Nurmi Games (World Athletics Continental Tour 2022), Helsinki, Finland

Where to Watch: Sports 18 1 and Sports 18 1 HDTV channels in India and live streaming on Voot

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